This post is a little different that our usual Life Without Limits feature as we don’t actually meet Johnny, but we learn about him through a lady who inspired him to not place limits on himself and how he could serve his fellow man.
How often do we think that the job we do is to mundane to really make a difference?
It isn’t so! The little things we can do that can such a difference in the lives of others.
Take a look at this video to see what I mean…
This video reminds me of a story from my own life…
In college I worked in the college’s cafeteria. It’s not a glamorous job and a job that most people would never want. But my new friend and co-worker Leann was determined to make the best of it. We decided to try to make a difference in the people that came through our line. Our hope was that we could brighten their day and help relieve some of the pressure that naturally comes with college life.
Leann and I were assigned the line that was out of the way. Because it was in the back corner our line was always less crowded. As a result we always closed our line first and it was Leann’s and I’s job to clean up the cafeteria. Usually that meant putting away dozens and dozens of trays that student’s had just left on the tables and wiping down the tables.
Now for some reason, the girls in the other line didn’t seem to like us much. I think they resented the fact that we were having fun. The would practically throw the food on the plates and hand it to people as they walked by. It was rare to see them smile or even say anything to the other students. But because their cafeteria line was right by the door they were always very busy.
At first LeAnne and I simply started out greeting each person warmly and smiling as they came through our line. We wanted them to know that we enjoyed serving them. We truly did – as interacting with the people was by far the best part of our job.
We then made it a game to try to remember as many peoples names as we could so that we could call each person by name. To help us in our quest we kept a few sheets of paper on the shelves under the warming trays. Once we learned each persons name one of us would pretend we needed something from the shelves when in reality we were jotting down a description of the person and their name so we could remember it the next time they came through. If we say them coming and we couldn’t remember their name we would hurry and glance through the list.
One day upon returning from the ladies room I heard someone call a guy by name. I made an effort to remember his name – just in case he ended up coming through our line. “How do you know my name?” was his response when we greeted him.
We did other things as well. For example, on Valentines Day we got valentines for everyone and added them to their tray. We would sing Happy Birthday or other silly songs. We had fun and we loved what we did.
Although we did it to have fun and help brighten peoples days we ended up benefiting as well.
Remember how it was our job to clean up all the tables. At the beginning of the year there were so many trays left on tables that much of our clean-up time was spent putting them away. By the end of the year there were many days when there were no trays left on the tables at all. In fact, one day someone got up to leave and left their tray on the table. Noticing is many of the guys on the college football team stood up and yelled, “Take your own tray!” I guess you could say a little intimidation did the trick. No one who witnessed that was going to leave their tray from now on.
The students also began packing lunches for LeAnne and I from the food they weren’t going to eat. They’d pack out the extra food that would keep and they’d give it to us. (Technically I believe it was against the rules – but none of us could stand the thought of the food simply going into the trash).
Oh, and at the year our line ended up being the longest. Even if that meant that people had to wait longer.
So what little things can you do right now with the circumstances you have to make someone day a little brighter?
“Don’t believe what your eyes are telling you. All they show is limitation. Look with your understanding, find out what you already know, and you’ll see the way to fly.” ~ Richard Bach
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